India can probably best be described at a vast country with a diverse terrain, a rich and complex heritage, and a diversity of languages and cultures. The land is filled with iconic landmarks like the Taj Mahal, and the mighty Ganges River which travels over 2,500 kilometres in total. Pilgrims travel to India to practice yoga, holidaymakers visit temples and buy souvenirs, while trekkers assemble there to climb the majestic Himalayas, of which Mount Everest is without a doubt the most well-known in the world. But whatever your reasons for going to India, we thought it would be helpful to share a few tips we have been given over the years and which may assist you on your travels.
- plan your trip well ahead of time. India is a big country and you are unlikely to see it all in one trip. It might be far better to travel through the north to see the mountains and palaces, and visiting whatever other sights you wish to see at that time. You can always plan another trip south to see other regions at a later time.
- apart from the most basic of clothes needed to get you there, don’t bother taking a lot of clothes to India. You can buy cheaper clothes when you arrive that are made for the climate than you can ever take with you.
- travel security should always be on your mind wherever you go in the world currently, and India is no different. Terrorism, civil unrest and criminals can strike anywhere in the world so seek advice before you travel and ensure you follow all sensible precautions to avoid becoming a target. Pay special attention to the location of your accommodation, the means of travel, as well as the gender makeup in the travel group. Travelling as part of an organised group is our favourite option.
- be careful what you eat and drink, where you bathe, or visit the toilet. This does not just apply to India and is a commonsense precaution to avoid eating some unknown street food, or catching some disease and spending the remainder of your holiday in bed or hospital.
- be prepared to bargain for anything you buy. Indian shop keepers are known to be some of the best negotiators in the world and you need to spend time bargaining with them if you are to get the best price.
- depending upon your travel plans, be prepared to dress modestly, especially if entering temples, mosques or other holy places. Women might want to carry a light-weight scarf for these times too.
- be prepared for lots of people, constant beeping of horns and fast drivers, and a mixture of smells wherever you go. If you crave your personal space and have difficulty being around millions of people, then you might want to choose your destination carefully.
- in India, as we found in Africa, time is relative. A five-minute wait for dinner could be one hour, and a short taxi drive may take 45 minutes. While you might never get an exact answer, try to ascertain the best estimate possible if time is of the essence to catch a flight or be somewhere important on time.
- travel insurance on any international trip is a must and India is no different. Always get the best you can afford and be sure to read the small print. You do not want to be injured at some remote mountainous temple, only to find out that your insurance only arranges a doctor in the major cities.
We do hope you can get to India one day, and if you do, we trust that our tips can make your trip even more enjoyable. If you have visited and have further tips for our friends, please drop a comment below to share with others. And if you require any assistance with your Indian travel arrangements, why not give our friends at HelloTravel a call.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food or drink featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.